Commercially viable eco-cars compete for a share of £5m in the Automotive X Prize competition
25 March 2008

Ever fancied making a 100mpg car? The Progressive Insurance X Prize competition could be for you; it’s putting up a £5 million bounty to help bring such a vehicle to reality.The goal is to design, build and bring to market 100MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that will have consumer appeal and meet market needs for price, safety, capability, size and performance.“We’re not talking about concept cars”, said X Prize Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis at the contest’s launch. “We’re talking about real cars that can be brought to market.”Organisers are accepting applications up until July this year; those that qualify will race their eco-friendly vehicles in timed cross-country events, starting in New York in September 2009. The series of trials will combine speed, distance and urban driving, as well as overall performance.“The Progressive Automotive X Prize is an excellent example of how the private sector can spur solutions to our most complex challenges", said New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.The most notable entrant is Tesla; its electric sports car promises a 245-mile range and cracks 0-60mph in four seconds. The firm could probably put the £5m to good use; it began production of its Roadster last week.

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26 March 2008

Strip out an Elise, put a 750cc Kawasaki motorbike engine in and strip out the 1st gear... collect £5M then go to Lamborghini and buy a 'proper motor' to wizz down to Monte Carlo to blow the lolly on the craps tables. Sorted!

Do I take this competition seriously? Well would the Progressive Insurance Company enter a competition to provide £50 insurance premiums for Joe Public rather than find ever more erroneous excuses to bump our premiuims up ever year despite declining accident rates!! Where do you think they got the £5M quid from for the prize, undercharging?

26 March 2008

I'm not convinced the Tesla would qualify for this prize. It may not use any fuel locally, but how much petrol would need to be burned in a highly efficient generator in order for the tesla to drive 100 miles on real roads? I'd give good odds that it would be more than a gallon.

And I don't think it's the insurance companies you need to blame for sky high insurance premiums. It's the people claiming £10000 for whiplash when someone bumps into them at 2 MPH. The problem isn't exessive profits for the insurance companies, it's exessive payouts to "injury lawers 4U".

26 March 2008

Come to think of it, does this competition aim to get 100 miles per US gallon or Imperial (british) gallon? 100 miles per US gallon equals only about 83 miles per british gallon (if my maths is right).

The first X prize was for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. A car capable of 83 MPG seems to be setting their sights a little low.

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